ACDC News – Issue 06-15

Helping agricultural journalists work ethically.

A master’s thesis added recently to the ACDC collection reveals that Karen A. Simon has advanced recent discussions about how to preserve the ethical integrity of agricultural media in the U.S. Her thesis, submitted earlier this year, examined accountability systems “to put ‘teeth’ into the existing code of ethics” of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association.

She identified and discussed various media accountability systems, in terms of the agricultural publishing industry. Among her recommendations:

  • “We must begin now,” she said, noting a publisher’s comment that reversing breaches of ethics is extraordinarily difficult.
  • The entire editorial team should be taught the process of ethical decision-making.
  • “We must make a conscious effort to employ [accountability tools] industry wide. By forming a united front – reporters, editors, publishers and the sales force – we can preserve our integrity…and our readers’ trust.”

Title: Standing our ground
Note: This thesis is available in electronic or printed format (cost-recovery basis). Check with us at 

What will it take to globalize extension services? 

How can extension services provide leadership in the mounting challenge of demonstrating local implications and potential consequences of global interdependence? Here are barriers and needs identified by a recent survey among extension agents, specialists and administrators in Virginia Cooperative Extension (U.S.):

  • Lack of financial support.
  • Lack of programming priority.
  • Lack of time to devote to it.
  • Need for guidance on what a “globalized” program looks like, including specific ideas that extension personnel can put into their programs.
  • Need for specific training, such as foreign language competencies.

Findings revealed that 92 percent of the respondents were involved in international efforts within the past five years. As a group, respondents expressed positive attitudes toward globalizing the extension program in that state.

Title: The attitudes of extension faculty 
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Covering rural aspects of the complex U. S. immigration debate.

“There are a lot of different aspects to this issue – wages, fiscal costs, citizenship issues, security issues,” says Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Krikorian’s research organization established the annual Katz Award for excellence in immigration coverage to honor journalists “who best challenge the norm of immigration reporting.” Recent award winners include Lou Dobbs, anchor and managing editor of CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

We recently added to the Center collection several documents that highlight media coverage and public opinion of the immigration debate as it touches on food and agriculture. “There is a steady and strong demand for migrant workers from Mexico in agriculture,” according to a 2005 survey by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Title: 2004 Eugene Katz Award for excellence in the coverage of immigration
Posted at:

Title: No consensus on immigration problem or proposed fixes: America’s immigration quandary
Posted at:

Related title: Information behaviour of migrant Hispanic farm workers and their families in the Pacific Northwest
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Communicator activities approaching

September 13-16, 2006
Annual conference of the Association of Food Journalists in Charlotte, North Carolina.

September 14-17, 2006
Annual conference of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation in Winnipeg, Canada.

October 1, 2006
Deadline for research or professional papers to be submitted to the Agricultural Communications section of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists meeting February 3-7, 2007, in Mobile, Alabama.

October 8-11, 2006
“Delivering information for the new life sciences.” U. S. Agricultural Information Network conference at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

October 12-13, 2006
“Newspapers and community-building.” Twelfth annual symposium co-sponsored by the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media and the National Newspaper Association Foundation in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

October 25-27, 2006
World Congress on Communication for Development in Rome, Italy. Organized by the Development Communication Division, World Bank; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; and The Communication Initiative.

Thanks, Carolyn, and best wishes. 

With this issue of ACDC News we extend sincere thanks and best wishes to Carolyn Sanford. She completed her graduate degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois in May and leaves the Center this month after a year of service as graduate assistant. Her new responsibilities as assistant director of the Learning Resources Center at Richland Community College, Decatur, Illinois, begin September 5.

Carolyn brought to the Center a background and interest in public affairs (media relations, writing and editing), librarianship, teaching and international affairs. She has contributed valuable leadership in identifying and processing documents, providing timely information services and strengthening the international, gender and other subject areas of this collection.

New words related to agriculture.

Thanks to Marilyn Cummins of Cummins Consulting for alerting us to the latest crop of new words in the 2006 update of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. This 11th edition contains several related to agriculture. Examples:

Avian influenza

We would add Mouse Potato to the list, except that it refers not to a genetically engineered vegetable but to a person who spends a great deal of time using a computer.


Best regards and good searching.

Please get in touch with us when you see in this collection interesting items you cannot find, locally or online. Reach us at Tell us the titles and/or document numbers. We will help you gain access.

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas for the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or electronic form at

August 2006


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